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  1. #1
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    After uneventful Ubuntu installation, problems working

    Hi,

    Following the recent article about Linux, I thought I'd install it on an old desktop machine I have.

    Having looked into the various Linux systems, I decided on Ubuntu.

    The problem is that the installation went okay, but having installed the OS, I can log in, but when I try to actually do anything, e.g. enter something in a cell in the Open Office spreadsheet, as soon as I press the "Enter" key, I get a blank screen, and the only thing I can do is unplug the machine, as it won't respond to anything else.

    I hope this makes some sort of sense, and wondered:

    a) If anyone else has come across this issue, and

    b) If anyone has any idea as to how to resolve it?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Did you have the same problem when booting to and running the LiveDVD first to try it out? I use Linux Mint 17.1 installed on a Desktop and a Notebook and haven't seen similar yet. I installed while booted to the LiveDVD so I had a good idea they would work, only drivers I needed were for my printers.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    I'm not sure I understand that, sorry.

    I had no problems installing from the optical disk if that's what you mean?

  4. #4
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    When you boot a Linux LiveDVD or LiveCD you can do most everything without having to actually install the OS. If it's run that way there's an icon on the desktop offering to run the install routine. I mentioned that because it's a good indication of whether there will be problems after the actual installation.

  5. #5
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    Ok thanks.

    I think it's a bit late for that though, as I've installed the OS now.

    I've done a complete reinstall, but I still have the same problem. For example, if I open the Open Office spreadsheet application and type some numbers in a cell, as soon as I press the "ENTER" key, I get a blank white screen, with vertical lines on it.

    It does seem like it's something to do with the "ENTER" key, as if I use the arrow keys to move to another cell it doesn't happen.

    Maybe I should try a different version of Linux?

  6. #6
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    I've got Ubuntu 14 on a VM for testing, doesn't seem to have that problem. It could be the video driver. Search for the issue in Ubuntu forums rather than here.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    I already tried the Ubuntu forums with no response.

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    I am NOT a Linux guru but,,,, this maybe a video problem, maybe your version of Linux gives you a key press option at boot to use a different video configuration/driver. The Livecd option is a good test, often these options are more upfront on a live cd.

    FWIW you aren't the only one to ever be frustrated w/ Linux forums
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterlg View Post
    Hi,

    Following the recent article about Linux, I thought I'd install it on an old desktop machine I have.

    Having looked into the various Linux systems, I decided on Ubuntu.

    The problem is that the installation went okay, but having installed the OS, I can log in, but when I try to actually do anything, e.g. enter something in a cell in the Open Office spreadsheet, as soon as I press the "Enter" key, I get a blank screen, and the only thing I can do is unplug the machine, as it won't respond to anything else.

    I hope this makes some sort of sense, and wondered:

    a) If anyone else has come across this issue, and

    b) If anyone has any idea as to how to resolve it?

    Thank you.

    It definitely sounds like a video driver problem. Try this...

    1. Repeat the steps that cause the screen to go blank.
    2. Press key combination [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F2] to access virtual console #2 (aka. "tty2").


    If you can get to a virtual console, then the computer isn't hung, which is good. Next...

    1. Log on at the command prompt.
    2. Grab some info about the system by running the following commands:

      lsmod > /tmp/lsmod.txt

      lspci > /tmp/lspci.txt

      dmesg > /tmp/dmesg.txt

      cp /var/log/Xorg.0.log /tmp/


    If the graphical interface isn't stable enough to use Firefox to post the log files, assuming the computer isn't so old it doesn't have USB ports...

    1. Switch back to the graphical desktop: [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F7]
    2. Plug in a flash drive (the file manager will automatically start up).
    3. On the left under Devices, click Computer and navigate to the tmp directory in the left pane.
    4. Copy the log files to the flash drive.
    5. Click the eject symbol to the right of the flash drive.


    If even that's not an option...

    1. Switch back to the virtual console: [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F2]
    2. Assuming that the flash drive is the only removable media plugged in, run the following commands except hold off pressing [Enter] on the second command:

      cd /tmp

      cp lsmod.txt lspci.txt dmesg.txt Xorg.0.log /me

      To save a bunch of typing, tap the [Tab] key 3 times to complete the second command. The second command will finish up with the pattern /media/username/volume_name/. For example, if your login name is "peterlg" and the volume label on the flash drive is "KINGSTON", the line would look like this:

      cp lsmod.txt lspci.txt dmesg.txt Xorg.0.log /media/peterlg/KINGSTON/

      Hit [Enter] to copy the files to the flash drive.

    3. Eject/Unmount the flash drive:

      umount /me

      As before, tap the [Tab] key 3 times to complete the second command. Hit [Enter].


    If you could post the log files it would help with diagnosing the exact problem. There's usually a suitable fix, but occasionally some older (and some newer) computers have funky hardware that there might require a compromise (e.g. no 3D graphics acceleration).

    Chung

  10. #10
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    I already tried the Ubuntu forums with no response
    same here

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterlg View Post
    Hi,

    Following the recent article about Linux, I thought I'd install it on an old desktop machine I have.

    Having looked into the various Linux systems, I decided on Ubuntu.

    The problem is that the installation went okay, but having installed the OS, I can log in, but when I try to actually do anything, e.g. enter something in a cell in the Open Office spreadsheet, as soon as I press the "Enter" key, I get a blank screen, and the only thing I can do is unplug the machine, as it won't respond to anything else.

    I hope this makes some sort of sense, and wondered:

    a) If anyone else has come across this issue, and

    b) If anyone has any idea as to how to resolve it?

    Thank you.
    which version of Ubuntu did you install? If it was 14.04 or 14.10, try 15.04 which just came out. If it was 15.04, try Linux Mint 17.1 or Fedora 21. It sounds like a driver problem, and a different version or flavor of Linux could get you a better set of drivers.

    As recommended by others download a live DVD, and boot into Linux (not install). If you get to a page that says Try or Install, click on Try.
    Last edited by Prescott; 2015-04-24 at 18:52. Reason: 22 to 21

  12. #12
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    For infromation, I've tried Mint and have a similar, though not identical problem.

  13. #13
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    Had the same problem with an older PC. Tryout version of 12.04 worked just fine although the screen resolution was a bit low. Install of 12.04 gave the blank screen with vertical lines as soon as anything was done requiring a screen update. After a number of installs with various options and combinations discovered that NOMODESET solved the problem.

    You will have to reinstall. When the keyboard icon appears at the bottom of the screen press the spacebar. Choose language and then press F6 for other options. Move the highlight down to NOMODESET and press Enter. An X should appear on the same line. Press esc to leave other options. Move the highlight to install and press enter.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by martynjkp; 2015-05-14 at 05:16.

  14. #14
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterlg View Post
    Ok thanks.

    I think it's a bit late for that though, as I've installed the OS now.

    I've done a complete reinstall, but I still have the same problem. For example, if I open the Open Office spreadsheet application and type some numbers in a cell, as soon as I press the "ENTER" key, I get a blank white screen, with vertical lines on it.

    It does seem like it's something to do with the "ENTER" key, as if I use the arrow keys to move to another cell it doesn't happen.

    Maybe I should try a different version of Linux?
    It is always a good idea to post the brand and model of your video card (or the type of onboard graphics) as listed in the Windows or Linux System Information.

    First, about the Linux Live option. This can be done even after installing Linux. Just pop the install DVD into the machine, boot from DVD, and choose the Live or "Try" option. This will show whether your hardware is producing any strange effects or has any incompatibilities.

    Second, using the information on the exact model of your graphics setup, a search of the Forums at the Ubuntu Forums or Ask Ubuntu, should show previous postings about the graphics hardware, and any issues which have been resolved or remain unresolved.

    I can tell you right away that NVidia and ATI-Radeon, especially their Hybrid Graphics setups, have caused ongoing issues with Ubuntu Linux. My own NVidia-Intel configuration on my Toshiba Satellite laptop has been very troublesome.

    When you hit enter to perform a data entry action within any program, the graphics (GUI) must refresh the screen. This will often show an underlying issue, as you have experienced. X-org (the X-Windows GUI in Ubuntu) and the DKMS modules (I hope I got those letters in the right sequence!) are prime culprits in many graphics driver issues in Ubuntu up to Ubuntu 15.04. (Ubuntu 15.10 is supposed to introduce Mir, which is a whole new GUI and has its own issues.)

    Bottom line is, some graphics are simply not Linux compatible. No matter what has been tried, some issues remain unresolved. But if you can use your graphics, you may need to use a Proprietary Driver from the Ubuntu Extras tab in the Software Sources module. This module is the companion to the Software Updater module in Ubuntu.

    On the Unity Desktop, from the Launcher, find the Dash (the Ubuntu logo icon) at the top of the panel. Search for Software Sources and click on its icon. Click on the Extra Drivers tab (may be part of the Ubuntu Extras section). Select the option to use proprietary drivers (those not in the normal Ubuntu repository, and not maintained by Ubuntu developers). Try out higher numbered drivers for your hardware than the one automatically checked off.

    In my case, I ended up with (most recently) the NVidia 331.113 driver. This is a proprietary, kernel-level driver which does not require Bumblebee or other kludges. NVidia-Prime may be required, and I have that, as well as the manual switching Prime-Indicator App-Indicator sitting on my Top Panel (Ubuntu's answer to the Windows Task Bar).

    Using these modifications, I have a stable and controllable hybrid graphics setup. With an active Swap Partition, I can even do Hibernate, which for my laptop model, is normally disabled and not even listed in the logoff options drop-down menu.

    For other graphics hardware the exact outcome will be different. But this is how I got my rig up and running, and it has remained graphics-stable through two full version kernel upgrades. Far better than having to completely reconfigure Bumblebee after even a minor kernel update!

    Your mileage and exact procedures will vary, but good luck. Post back if you think I might be able to offer any further useful insights.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2015-05-14 at 09:34.
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  16. #15
    New Lounger
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    bobprimak answer a very good explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    It is always a good idea to post the brand and model of your video card (or the type of onboard graphics) as listed in the Windows or Linux System Information.
    ......

    I can tell you right away that NVidia and ATI-Radeon, especially their Hybrid Graphics setups, have caused ongoing issues with Ubuntu Linux. My own NVidia-Intel configuration on my Toshiba Satellite laptop has been very troublesome.

    When you hit enter to perform a data entry action within any program, the graphics (GUI) must refresh the screen. This will often show an underlying issue, as you have experienced. X-org (the X-Windows GUI in Ubuntu) and the DKMS modules (I hope I got those letters in the right sequence!) are prime culprits in many graphics driver issues in Ubuntu up to Ubuntu 15.04. (Ubuntu 15.10 is supposed to introduce Mir, which is a whole new GUI and has its own issues.)

    Bottom line is, some graphics are simply not Linux compatible. No matter what has been tried, some issues remain unresolved. But if you can use your graphics, you may need to use a Proprietary Driver from the Ubuntu Extras tab in the Software Sources module. This module is the companion to the Software Updater module in Ubuntu.
    ....

    Your mileage and exact procedures will vary, but good luck. Post back if you think I might be able to offer any further useful insights.
    Truer words were never spoken.
    I'll add this:
    I've built some Windows/Mint dual booting machines. I fully understand that one can hit thick walls in Linux, and I plan for that.
    Regarding Nvidia: they had a little legal trouble (ahem) with products that went into mostly Dell/HP stuff a few years back. Class-action-type trouble.
    But I'm finding in my mostly non-UEFI PC builds, funky Nvida and/or AMD chips still offer advantages, such as support for memory that chokes an Intel chipset.
    So, if is a PROPRIETARY driver that an older or less-Intel-containing computer needs, Nvidia refuses release the code to be open source, and you have to add a repository, etc. Here's what I do;
    During install (of Mint's) countdown, <TAB> Start in compatibility mode (required for AMD!) Ubuntu is a similar menu choice.
    Post install, sometimes in the blind:
    ANPDF - AMD nVidia proprietary video driver fix
    This fix conflicts with Secure Boot, if SB present and enabled
    Ctrl+Alt+F1 opens terminal, login
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
    sudo aptget update
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings
    This seems, for me, to end the psychedelic op art that is all I get otherwise.

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